Male and female mound-building mice, Mus spicilegus, discriminate dietary and individual odours of conspecifics

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    Abstract

    Individual body odour is known to provide information to conspecifics about both the identity of thedonor and its biological state (e.g. reproductive condition, age, diet). It is not clear whether informationrelated to individuality and biological state is evaluated collectively or separately. To gain insight intothis subject, we examined the effect of a change in diet on conspecific recognition of individual chemicalsignatures in mound-building mice, Mus spicilegus. The diet change consisted of the addition of anaromatic concentrate to the drinking water. We used two different procedures based on spontaneousresponses of mice to the presentation of odorous stimuli: the habituationedishabituation procedureand the habituationegeneralization procedure. Mice of both sexes were able to perceive the two typesof information contained in the modified chemical signature of the donor, that is, they were able bothto perceive the change in diet and to identify the chemical signature of the donor.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)577-583
    Number of pages7
    JournalAnimal Behaviour
    Volume72
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

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